If it were up to me, I would only be drinking peaty scotch until the rest of my time. There is something comforting about taking my sweet time to savour every aroma of the smoky spirit. But since I know that not everyone is about bold flavours, the following list includes a spirit for every palate.
By Marie-Ève Venne
Ardbeg Traigh Bhan – $377.25
I know I wrote that this article wouldn’t exclusively be about Islay scotch, but I would hate to skip Ardbeg latest release, especially since it’s an astonishing dram and honestly my new favorite expression by the distillery. Traigh Bhan is a 19 year old expression named after the local Traigh Bhan beachoin Islay, sometimes known as the Singing Sands. The whisky’s recipe is set to change with each batch, creating ‘subtle differences’ between future iterations. The result has hints of chili and chocolate and is basically Ardbeg as its best.
The first core expression from Ardbeg in 20 years to be released with an age statement, this is an impressive dram that captures the character of the coastline brilliantly. It was drawn from a combination of American oak and Oloroso sherry casks, and has been bottled at 46.2% ABV.
I usually get overwhelmed when it’s time to pick a wine, especially since most of my friends are experts on the subject. This is why I welcome every suggestion with open arms and a sigh of relief. The Melacce was highly recommended to me by a trusty expert and saved me on a night I was running late to a dinner party. The cuvée is born of young vermentino vines planted at an altitude of 300 metres at the foot of Mount Amiata, an ancient extinct volcano, and is vinified and raised in stainless steel vats without wood. This gives a pure wine, with delicate notes of almond and peach.
Once elected Italy’s best estate by the famous Gambero Rosso, ColleMassari is located at the foot of Mount Amiata, an extinct volcano not far from the Maremma in southern Tuscany. Coming from new Vermentino vines planted 300 meters above sea level, this cuvée is vinified in stainless steel vats and matured for three months on lees. The Melacce wine shows accents of lemon, herbs and flowers.
Even if the cognac-making process is a complex one, enjoying a long pour of the French brandy is all about pleasure, which the Cuvée Louis-Alexandre by Grand Marnier aims to remind everyone who savors it. Created as a tribute to the founder of the brand, Marnier-Lapostolle, this special blend of fine aged cognacs combined with aromatic orange essences reflects a period of cultural excitement and decadent Parisian soirées.
A unique blend of refined V.S.O.P. cognac and Liqueur D ‘Orange, the cognacs used in this premium Cuvée come from the finest growing areas in the Cognac region and are carefully aged in Tronçais and Limousin oak casks in Bourg-Charente. Cuvée Louis Alexandre is the result of attentively selected eaux-de-vie, adding a lively and intense profile, and then enhanced with the subtle essence of highly aromatic bitter oranges. Cuvée Louis Alexandre is 40% ABV (82% cognac, 18% orange liqueur).
The thing about scotch is that most of the time, the most exciting bottles are only available for the European market. Well, not this time. Glenfiddich just released the Glenfiddich 14 Year Bourbon Barrel Reserve, that will be available at select retailers across the country year-round. Matured exclusively in ex-bourbon casks for 14 years and finished in deeply charred new American Oak casks, it is set to appeal to the bourbon lover that is looking for a scotch that will satisfy his love for sweet and vibrant flavours.
Aged 14 years in ex-bourbon American Oak casks before finishing in deep-charred new American Oak barrels and bottled at 43% ABV (86 proof). This new flash of blue on the shelf mixed in with more traditional Glenfiddich offerings is difficult to miss. It is worth noting that this is not a limited release, but rather a permanent addition to the American Glenfiddich line.